Fasting is the act of abstaining from something for a certain duration, as we take the time to humble ourselves and focus on seeking God. Many Christians commit to fasting during the season of Lent as an act of worship and preparation for the celebration of Easter. But could fasting be incorporated into our walk with God during other periods of the year? And what are our motivations behind doing so?
Consumer culture tells us that we need to have more of everything in order to be happy, driving us towards a selfish lifestyle of comfort and privilege. However, this is not the mindset that we as Christians should be adopting. Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” We ought to reflect on our lifestyle choices and whether we truly believe that God provides abundantly for us just as He provides for creation.
Overconsumption in the world today has also led to much environmental damage and destruction. Freshwater reserves and forests are shrinking as resources are being extracted at an unsustainable rate to meet our demands for goods. In relation to food, our meat consumption is increasing, with the global demand for meat projected to double from 2010 to 2050. This will increase the strain on the environment, as meat production is a driver of climate change, currently accounting for more than half of all food-related greenhouse gas emissions.
Fasting from meat for a day or consuming consciously can be acts of creation care that not only help us practise good stewardship, but also a reminder that God is enough for us. Take joy in His presence and ask for his guidance on choices related to consumption.
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